All of our sample eulogies are written for us about real people. This one is by Daisy about her lovely Aunt Brenda. Scroll down to the end for links to more examples and free templates for writing your own.
It's lovely to see so many friends and family here today to celebrate Aunt Brenda's life. So many have come with flowers and pictures and stories. Although I think she may have been surprised by how many people are here, I am not in the slightest. She was the sweetest person I know and touched all those she met with her easy smile and welcoming generous ways.
This is a time for us all to remember her never ending smile, her cheeky laugh, her cheerful and loving ways, and the good times we shared with her – whether over a meal, in her back garden, playing gin rummy, on holiday, or a chance meeting on the street.
Brenda was born in London, England on October 22, 1933 to Anne and Cyril Havelock. She enjoyed playing the elder sister to my mum, Ethel, possibly a bit too much, though she never admitted it. In reality they were not just sisters, but best friends and could often be found giggling together, with a glint of mischievousness in their eyes! I have so many photos of Brenda's sleek blond hair pressed against my mother's dark curls.
Although she had ambitions to become a
teacher, the money for school never did quite come together. Instead Brenda
found a job clerking and went to night school to learn shorthand and typing.
She found a natural talent in it, and ended up, at age 22 as secretary to the
head of the Bristol Aeroplane company, with full security clearance. She had
such impeccable taste in fashion and made many of her own clothes. She used to
buy a copy of each newspaper so she could be sure to get the 'whole story'.
It was during this time that she met her first husband James, an handsome RAF helicopter pilot. For Brenda and James, it was love at first sight. Their courtship was brief and within the year they were married. Unfortunately it was not to last and a few years later, James was killed in action in Borneo.
It wasn't until ten years after James' death, that she met her second husband, Norman. It took him some time for him to pluck up the courage to ask her out and when he did, she turned him down flat. Norman and Brenda had a long courtship but as he used to tell us, it was in that moment of haughty rejection he became determined to marry her one day.
In her final weeks, Aunt Brenda talked a lot about Uncle Norman and the love she had for him – through the good times and the challenging. Theirs was a ship that would withstand the roughest seas but that would take them far in love and life. While perhaps not an overtly affectionate couple, the discrete looks and touches that I witnessed between them were always so powerful. True team players, they were always there for each other providing support when the other needed it the most.
The last few years have been tough. She lost her best mate in Norman 3 years ago, and then was diagnosed with cancer. It’s a lot to take in 10 months. Every time she gathered momentum to get her life back on track something else got thrown at her. Nonetheless, during this time she continued to travel, play gin rummy and host long talks with me in her back garden.
As a child, I remember her reading books to me while I played with my dolls at the lake. Watching old reruns of Perry Mason and Mash with me when my parents needed a sitter. As soon as she found out what my favourite dish was she would make sure to have it the next time I visited. I remember watching Crufts with her every spring on television, each of us rooting for our favourite dog and trash talking the rest. As I got older we'd have long talks in the back garden with her tortoise Poppy, munching on some fresh strawberries, and us enjoying a bottle of wine or cup of coffee. I remember she had named all the hedgehogs she left cat food out for – funny what we remember!
Somehow she managed to impart her values and standards to me in a subtle way, helping me grow into the person I am today. While she may not have realised it due to our many differences – I’ve never understood the need to iron jeans – she was a true role model for me and I hope to be able to continue to grow and exhibit the lessons she taught me as I continue on my own journey in life.
Aunt Brenda, I will miss your guidance and your laughter. I will hold you in my heart forever. Rest in Peace.
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